Photo by Benjamin Cutler

Benjamin Cutler offers an ode to lifelong love in his poem “Echo,” from the 2021 issue of Deep Wild: Writing from the Backcountry.

To catch the first low light
of day spilling into the last

broad leaves of the year—warming
their umber to amber—we began

our hike under morning darkness.
The trail, rising with the sun,

led us up through blue fog and purple
aster, along the leaf-laden stream,

above the narrow headwaters,
to the evergreened ridge. There,

into the high, open noon, we sang
our question—Hello?—Hello?—

again and again. Even now, love,
in the dim evening, this echo

whispers the song of our two-
voiced future: returning,

repeating, fading in the valley—
offering only itself in answer.

Deep Wild Journal is the home for creative work inspired by journeys to places where there are no roads. To read more stories about wild places, order your copy at deepwildjournal.com. Our fall sale is happening now! We are also currently open for submissions for our 2022 issue.

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